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500 Word Article Ideas for Online Writers
Content is King According to Google
Making your articles rank high in Google Search is essential if you want to make residual income from your writing. Part of the page ranking algorithm is based on the amount of content, or word count, in your writing. So, obviously the word count in an online article is important in that regard. Content is also important to your readers.
As a part of the 6-month apprenticeship program on HubPages, I have had to write eight original articles per month of at least 500 words. Some may not find this a hard task at all, but I am guessing that many would find achieving that goal on a consistent basis difficult. And remember, the article has to be original and not copied from other sources on the Internet - so it requires a bit of imagination and work on your part.
To help anyone who is struggling to create articles with an adequate amount of engaging content, I have provided below several different ideas on how to go about creating a 500 word article with original content. These are several different examples, taken mostly from my work and the work of other writers and apprentices in the HubPages Apprentice Program, but these ideas will work for other sites on the web. These ideas are categorized based on article types to help you easily find areas that are within your interest.
Doing a 500 Word Article by Making Lists
I never have done this one, but one of the people on my follow list wrote an article on creative pet names. Another one that I have recently read was on creative baby names. Both of these were published in 2012. With an introduction of 50 words and a summary of 50 words, you would have to have at least 400 names; but, that wouldn't really be necessary. You could get additional content by categorizing the names in the list, making different sections based on the categories, including two-word names and adding a 10-25 word blurb about each category. The categories will help readers find names more quickly based on general ideas that they may already have. Providing 4-5 categories would thus reduce the required number of names in your list to about 200-300, depending on the length of your category description and the number of two-word names.
Besides pet and baby names, you could make lists of the names of different parts of anything you can think of, including mechanical or biological things. The limit is your imagination. But, by all means, do your best to make the article interesting, if not entertaining. Although some people may be on the Internet trying to find a name of a part, a list of names could be really boring, right? Include some original or properly attributed images to help keep the readers' interest.
Off the top of my head, here is a short list of article ideas that I think may have potential in this area:
- Public domain sources for images - photos, comic book characters, works of art
- Websites for public domain images - cartoons, clip art, etc
- Utility applications for Android, iPhone, Windows phones and/or tablets - which could include short summaries
- Recipe ideas for different occasions
- Essential items/accessories for ........ (camping, hiking, fishing, photography, etc)
- Popular foods of .... (different cultures)
- What to do in ...... (different towns and regions)
- Ingredients used in _________ cooking (different regional styles)
- Types of articles you can make from lists......
Recipe Article Ideas
Recipes, of course, also contain lists. But, most don't have any more than a few ingredients so that won't push the word count very high. I have published a few recipes of 15 or so ingredients, but the content of a recipe Hub is so much more. With all of the required parts of recipe articles, you already have about 150 words written for you, not including the introduction, ingredients and instructions. These three sections can provide you with at least another 200-300 words. If you are still searching for content after filling out all recipe capsules, you can describe alternative ways to approach the recipe, or you can discuss how to use leftovers. This type of material should be put at the end of the article; but, for cooks who have to deal with recipe adaptation and leftovers, it is great content to add.
Before you do a recipe, make sure you aren't duplicating recipe content that is already in the web. Do a broad search of your keywords that are in your title and read what comes up on the first page or two. If you find that your recipe duplicates anything within these pages, either don't write the article, or change in to make it substantially different. A creative cook should be able to do that easily. And people are always looking for new recipe ideas.
Writing a DIY Article
Writing a DIY, or do-it-yourself, article is very much like writing a recipe article. You have the materials and tools section, and then the instructions. These two sections could very likely have at least half the content needed to reach the 500-word goal. You could, as part of the introduction, prepare the reader for what he is about to do and give an idea about how long it takes to do the project. To summarize, you could, among other things, have the reader think about some other ways to complete the project or discuss similar projects.
How to Use Google Adwords for Article Ideas: Making a List Outline
Let's say you have a general idea about an article, like on "quieting the mind." You don't know what to write about, but you have some ideas. And you need more ideas. Simply go the the Google Adwords site and search for terms and phrases that are related to your idea. The list shown in the photo to the right contains phrases used in Google searches that have 8,000 or less searches per month. All of these things in this list are good topics to include in the article about "Quieting the Mind." Many of them belong in sections as a header-title. Using search keywords in a header makes the phrase more visible to Google in their page-ranking search algorithm.
Once you have made the list, it is a matter of research and personal thought to find material to fill out each section. Use your own experience, as well as researched sources. Be original and check the web to make sure you aren't making content that others are writing about, though.
Write a Review of Something You Know Intimately
If you have something that you own, and you know its workings inside and out, you have a potential article ready to write. Commercially available products have good traffic. Of course, I would omit some items that as common as dirt and iPhones, but there is a wealth of items out there that could use a good honest review from a user's standpoint. The web is replete with unboxing, superficial reviews. To add to the article, you can use a ratings and/or poll capsules in HubPages articles so readers can provide input as well, making a really useful and interactive article.
It is important to create tables for product comparison when there are similar choices available in the market. These tables make it easier for a consumer/reader to make a buying decision.
To make sure that your review is not superficial and just from your standpoint, check out other user reviews found on Ebay, user forums and Amazon. Try to get a consensus idea about what most people think about the item and review features that perhaps you are not familiar with to supplement your own perspective.
Creative Article Ideas
Write an Article of a Place You Know
You may not live in the vacation capital of the world, but there probably are places nearby that are of interest to people in surrounding communities. Take your camera and make your own photos and experience each of the places that tourists may have an interest in. You don't need a fancy camera - a cell phone with a good camera will do. With photo captions and specific site information, you can usually get well over 500 words in an article.
There may be web search traffic about the hotels or restaurants in your area. Do a Google Adwords search to see if there are 500 or more searches per month, and if so, do a review of your own. You may want to do a category review as well, like luxury or economical hotels, Asian or barbeque restaurants or donut shops. Check out online reviews to complement your findings and opinions.
Since articles are enhanced by good photos, use them to drive and complement the text. Explain some of the important things they see in the photo and related things that they can see and do. This will drive reader interest and keep them reading. Keeping the reader on your page is very important for making income on the web.
What It All Boils Down To
A lot of what goes into writing a 500-word article is organizing. I frequently write the content, or body of the article, before I write the introduction and summary. A lot of what goes into an article is making lists of related ideas to sketch out what will later provide the content.
People who are searching on the web, your customers so to speak, have an endless number of related terms that they use to find information; and, if you provide a variety of related information in your content, that will increase the likelihood that they will visit your article and read what you have to say. So remember to be sure to use Google Adwords as a part of your article writing so you can connect with more potential readers by incorporating keyword phrases that they commonly use.